GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - On June 4, the United Way will hold Fire on the Lake, a new dragon boat race fundraiser.
The Dock Bar and Grill owner, John Dane, says he was excited when the organization asked him to host the event.
"In addition to just the boat races, we want to make it a family and community event. So, we're going to have areas for companies to set up booths to display," said Dane. "We're going to have a kids play area set up."
The fundraiser will feature long row boats, known as dragon boats, powered by 20 rowers. Businesses and other organizations can purchase their entry with an entire boat.
Dane hopes to see a lot of spectators enjoying the festivities.
"We're going to have some bands, we're going to have some dragon cultural dancers there. So we want to make it a fun time," Dane added. "Between heats the bands will be playing so people can relax, have a drink, eat some food from the local businesses, from the Dock, so it should be a great time."
Several coast businesses have already signed up, including Coast Electric, Mississippi Power and Merit Health. Community leaders, businesses and individuals are encouraged to secure their spot on a boat.
United Way of South Mississippi CEO, Cindy Walker says she is excited to see people from the community get involved with the races.
"This event is going to bring people to the water, it's going to be involving boats, it's going to be a competition. We're going to see who's really as good as they think they are," said Walker.